Even legal immigrants now have reason to fear their status

By

Opinion

August 14, 2019 - 10:12 AM

The Trump administration is moving — again — to make it more difficult for even legal immigrants to get a foothold in the United States.

Beginning in October, a new rule will make immigrants who use certain government safety-net programs ineligible for permanent residency, blocking their path to naturalized citizenship. The move, which is likely to be challenged in court, meshes with the administration’s other efforts to fundamentally change the nature of U.S. immigration from a focus on family reunification to one based on English proficiency, educational level and work experience.

Barring legal status to immigrants because they might need a little short-term assist is hardhearted, but also in stride for an administration that sees nothing wrong with incarcerating children who arrive at the border asking for help. Yet research shows that even those who do need some financial help over time learn or improve skills that move them into higher-income brackets and help the overall economy.

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